What is Safer Internet Day?
It’s been said that if you were born before 1985, you will have grown up having a very clear idea of what life was like before the Internet as well as life after. Most children today in the UK live in a world pervaded by the Internet and connectedness, never having known anything different. Putting a day aside each year to focus on the relationship between children and the online world helps to prompt awareness and underline the multitude of issues young people now face. Safer Internet Day’s objective is to provoke discussion about how technology is used by children and to encourage organisations to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for young people.
Who is behind Safer Internet Day?
Safer Internet Day is organised and promoted by the UK Safer Internet Centre which is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and the South West Grid for Learning . These organisations have a shared mission to make the Internet a better place for children and young people.
Who can get involved?
You don’t have to be a parent or young person to participate. The themes of Safer Internet Day touch on the work of carers, teachers, social workers and law enforcement. But all of us in wider society – including companies, policymakers and the third sector – have a responsibility to join together in helping to create a better Internet.
What resources are available?
Numerous resources are available for parents, carers and teachers to open discussions with young people about their use of the Internet and apps. For instance, within a family, parents and their children can document a Family Agreement setting out how the Internet is going to be used within the family. This agreement could consider how time is spent online, the sharing of content online, communicating online and what to do if things go wrong. Teachers can use film clips and lesson plans developed by Childnet (and available on their website) to tackle difficult areas such as online sexual harassment with 13-17 year olds.
The UK Safer Internet Centre also provides a hotline for reporting and removing sexual images of children online as well as helplines for (i) professionals working with children and young people and (ii) everyone, if you have a concern about harmful online content.
What else can you do?
If you want to get involved with Safer Internet Day, you can:
- Register as a supporter
- Spread the word – using images, logos and sample tweets to help attract as many supporters of the day as possible.
- Follow the initiative on @UK_SIC on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for all the latest news.
- Sign up for the Safer Internet Day Newsletter – to receive monthly news about the day, including the latest resources, launches and more.
Why is Safer Internet Day important?
The Internet has enormous power in our society to do good as well as to do harm. The introduction of the Age Appropriate Design Code into UK law in the next 12 months or so (the first such comprehensive child focused regulation globally) is an indication of how important the UK Government treats the privacy rights of children online. Properly equipping children to navigate the opportunities and dangers of the online world is vital to ensuring the Internet is a safe place for them and future generations. Safer Internet Day plays an important role in helping to achieve this aim.
For more information about Safer Internet Day, please visit: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2020.
All content on this page is correct as of February 6, 2020.